11 January 2008
Portal: First Slice - Free Demo for nVidia Gamers
I can't believe this is my first post about Portal since the game's release... probably because what little free time I finally get in the middle of the night is spent playing it. :)
Portal is a unique game where you run an android through a test center course armed with only a gun that shoots blue and orange portals. When you enter one portal, you're ejected out the other; and you must use these to navigate your way through interesting puzzles in order to advance to the next level.
Portal is based on a fabulous free game created by Nuclear Monkey Software called "Narbacular Drop" which I raved about last March.
For those that own nVidia graphics cards, Steam will detect your card when you click the image above and confirm you have nVidia, then allow you to download FOR FREE: Portal: First Slice demo, Half-Life 2: DeathMatch, Peggle Extreme and Half-Life 2: Lost Coast. Pretty generous (and good bait to get you sucked into buying Half-Life 2 as well...) :) Smart move, Valve.
The full Portal game (only $19.95 on Steam or comes with the various versions of The Orange Box that Valve sells...) comes complete with the Source SDK which means custom levels can be made.
I found some cool sites for obtaining custom Portal maps, but the best one I've seen so far is myApertureLabs.com
The game is highly addicting and has gained quite the following. People everywhere are chanting "The cake is a lie..." and mimicking cool female computer voices that remind you that the companion cube cannot speak; but if it does, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.
Give it a shot, then buy it, play through it, and hit up myAperatureLabs for more Portal goodness.
And remember: "There's no use crying over every mistake; you just keep on trying til you run out of cake... and the science gets done and you make a neat gun for the people who are still alive."
EDIT: It looks like Portal: First Slice is the first 10 levels of the real game. You don't get to play with the Orange Portals, but you get enough of a taste for how the game works to want to play through the rest of the fully enjoyable levels. I highly recommend purchasing the game as it unlocks 9 more levels (the last being quite a bit longer than the rest) as well as challenge versions of the original levels, and the ability to import custom maps made by other players. Start thinking with Portals!